Colleague, IFLS member (and cherished friend) Carys Craig has published a reworking of her dissertation entitled Copyright, Communication and Culture: re-Imagining the Copyright Model”. The book is available here (Amazon.ca, still in preorder as of now but at a good price), or from the publisher here. She had a book launch last Friday, covered in detail by IPOsgoode here.
Here’s the publisher’s blurb for Copyright, Communication and Culture:
In this provocative book, Carys Craig challenges the assumptions of possessive individualism embedded in modern day copyright law, arguing that the dominant conception of copyright as private property fails to adequately reflect the realities of cultural creativity.
Employing both theoretical argument and doctrinal analysis, including the novel use of feminist theory, the author explores how the assumptions of modern copyright result in law that frequently restricts the kinds of expressive activities it ought to encourage. In contrast, Carys Craig proposes a relational theory of copyright based on a dialogic account of authorship, and guided by the public interest in a vibrant, participatory culture. Through a critical examination of the doctrines of originality and fair dealing, as well as the relationship between copyright and freedom of expression, she explores how this relational theory of copyright law could further the public purposes of the copyright system and the social values it embodies.
Some of the arguments which appear in the book were first published as articles. For instance, regarding her use of feminist theory (which is how you get your copyright book featured on IFLS, naturally), you can read her “Reconstructing the Author-Self: Some Feminist Lessons for Copyright Law” Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 207-268, 2007 (link is to SSRN):
“Employing the tools of feminist dialogism and relational theory, I hope to show that we can re-imagine the author not as source, origin, or authority, but as participant, citizen. These ideas illuminate the nature of authorship as a social and formative process, but they also offer the foundation for a coherent justification of copyright: copyright law, which aims to encourage creativity and exchange, should thereby encourage participation in cultural dialogue and facilitate the relations of communication that are central to this conception of selfhood and society.”
Carys will speak at our October Feminist Friday, on “What’s Feminist about Open Access?” a co authored piece which was published in the inaugural edition of Feminists@Law, a new open access journal of feminist legal scholarship. Maybe you don’t know much about the intersection of Feminism and Copyright, but think it sounds like a neat neighbourhood. When I asked for two suggestions, Carys suggested these articles to those intrigued by the connections between feminist theory and copyright (or IP more generally). Carys adores alliteration, so she described these as favourite/fundamental:
Malla Pollack. “Towards a Feminist Theory of the Public Domain, or The Gendered Scope of United States’ Copyrightable and Patentable Subject Matter” William & Mary J. of Women and the Law 12 (2006): 603. Link is to Hein Online (requires account – will likely work if you are accessing from a university IP address):
the public domain is feminine because it provides essential nourishment; it is the birthing and lactating mother. As one seed becomes a plant due to the fecundity of the earth goddess, so one human sprouts poems due to the fecundity of the public domain, the daemon, the muse.”
Says Carys, “A sure way to make upper year law students shift uneasily in their seats.” Another must-read classic (and Canadian to boot): is Shelley Wright, A Feminist Exploration of the Legal Protection of Art, 7 Can. J. Women & L. 59 (1994). (Another Hein Online link. Apologies, but (irony?) these articles are not available “openly”.)
Since two is too few, she offered these more recent pieces as well – true to her convictions, both of these links should open for everyone.
Ann Bartow, Fair Use and the Fairer Sex: Gender, Feminism, and Copyright Law, Am. UJ Gender Soc. Pol’y & L., 2006,
Greene, K.J. “Intellectual Property at the Intersection of Race and Gender: Lady Sings the Blues.” American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law. 16, no. 3 (2008): 365-385
These articles, along with Carys work, are fascinating. It all makes me wonder, sometimes, what exactly I found so interesting about the Constitution….